Disclaimer; I have no rights or claim to characters or locations in the Harry Potter realm. I do however like playing with them and putting them in compromising situations.
The summer after Harry's fifth year started as a complete disaster. The little talk that his "friends" had decided to give to his relatives only served to stir them up. The ride home was one long rant from his Uncle Vernon about "decent hardworking folks" and "worthless freaks who ruin our economy by living on the dole." It seemed to be his Uncle's oh so informed opinion that since he never saw a full blown robe wearing wizard working at the corner store that they all must be unemployed alcoholics sponging off the rest of society. His Uncle even went so far as to hold the front door open until Harry reached it with his trunk before screaming "Welcome Home, freak!" and slamming it in his face. Harry heard the bolt slide into place as he picked himself up off the ground. No doubt about it, this summer was going to be intolerable.
That night, Harry heard a tapping at his window. He looked over and opened the window for a very stately looking barn owl. Around it's neck was an emblem of Gringotts Bank, the crest also appeared on the letter tied to it's leg. Harry retrieved the letter and offered the owl a treat and some water before sending it on it's way. He didn't know right off why Gringotts would owl him, but decided to just open it instead of wasting time with idle speculation.
Dear Mr. Potter,
It has come to the attention of Gringotts Bank that one Sirius Orion Black has unfortunately moved from this world. Due to this we have been instructed to perform certain acts. We were given a letter to deliver into your care should this occur in addition to the will reading which will take place on the twelfth of June at three fifteen post meridian. There are several irregularities within the will itself, however we have been assured that the enclosed letter will explain them to your satisfaction. Please be advised that due to these irregularities your presence is required at the Diagon Alley branch before the aforementioned date to take care of some paperwork. All business done inside our walls is completely confidential.
Yours in trust,
Department of Wills and Contracts
Special Services Division
Harry opened the second envelope that was enclosed, releasing a shower of sparks as it verified his identity.
I won't always be there to provide a map for your life or help you make decisions in the important areas. In fact if you are reading this, I am probably not there for you right now. Don't mourn me for too long, I'll see you again one day. As we pass through each phase of our lives, doors close behind us. No password will open them again. I'm gone now but you are still there and you need to get moving if you don't want to just waste away. Remember the time we spent together but don't think for one minute I want to see you up here before it's your time. It was my time. I'll always love you.
'Well that didn't explain much at all' Harry thought. Unless he was mistaken, there was a bit of a hidden message there. Harry spotted the words that were just a bit straighter and just a bit darker than the others so he tapped the map and spoke the traditional words "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good." The flat piece of parchment became a small wood box that was apparently charmed light and to hold more than it should. He opened it and found another letter on top of a collection of other items individually wrapped in butchers paper. The interior was about the size of a large non-magical trunk and maybe half full. The letter was marked "read me first," so he did.
I see you figured it out, good because from here on out your life depends on your wits. No matter what Dumbledore thinks, you are not safe with your relatives and I know you sure as hell are not happy with them. Since you are reading this letter, we'll have to assume I am dead because otherwise I would be bringing you this and explaining it personally between the end of Hogwarts and your birthday. That sucks, but it isn't the end of the road. My dying wish is to see you free and safe. You are neither at Privet Drive. This care package should help you alleviate both.
I've talked with Dumbledore extensively on the protection around Privet Drive and got full details about the wards. It wasn't easy, but I had to remind him several times that I was your guardian by rights and not him. I had to threaten to kidnap you and bring you to headquarters myself before he told me why Privet Drive is "safer" than a Fidelius enchanted home with more than four centuries worth of wards and protections. Now those blood wards around your home are nice but they have a great many flaws and are pretty easy to circumvent if one knows how. Why did you think they are not used on every family estate if they were invincible? For instance, they prevent unwanted wizards and witches from finding it. All bets are off if they were to be invited in, what if a death eater were to be posing as someone else and asked permission to come in? From what you have told me your relatives would be only to happy to let old snake face in if he promised to kill you. Another major flaw is that they are very easy to tear down. If any member of the bloodline being protected were to willingly (cannot be magically compelled) spill their blood and say the right words, the wards would shatter. In most cases, deliberately betraying family like that would be unthinkable, but again these are your relatives who hate magic and everyone associated with it. Those are just the easiest to exploit, I've marked the page on your wards in one of the books inside.
So what are we to do? Well I was just going to kidnap you and help you escape. I ran from the Aurors for years, I can evade Dumbledore's half trained crew and you can too. I don't know why Dumbledore is so obsessive over you but it seems to me that something is fishy. Think things through on your own and make your own decisions about your safety and future. If Voldemort wants to kill you so bad, maybe leaving the country would be for the best. Maybe Hogwarts cannot provided the best education. Think things through and make your own choices. I'm going to talk a lot in this letter about how to escape Dumbledore and his crew, in case you ever need it. I've been making preparations and laying up supplies in case either of us needs to make a quick getaway. Maybe now is not the time, maybe it is. No matter what you decide, never reveal this box or its contents to anyone, keep them around as a just in case kind of measure. For whatever reason, you are a target so take precautions.
I've done a few funny things with my last will and testament that you may need to know about. Going back in time a bit, before I went to prison, I was dating a girl pretty seriously and we were in love. The night your parents were murdered, she told me she was pregnant. I was ecstatic of course and wanted to marry her and have a real family of my own. I was tossed in Azkaban and forgotten about for many years. She however fled the country and my notoriety, not wanting everyone to know she had my child I suppose. As soon as you rescued me and became convinced of my innocence, I left the country searching for her and my child. I know that sounds like my priorities were all out of whack but I needed to get that traitor same as I did that night so long ago. I found that she had the child in the United States and then the trail went cold for a bit. It seems that no one in the magical world had seen either of them in years. I had given her a special locket and decided to try a tracking charm. Where is this going you ask? She and my son died while on vacation in Puerto Rico, in the muggle world. The magical world knows that they lived but not that they died.
I filled out some paperwork and secured you an American passport in his name which will work in both magical and muggle worlds. Simply tap the blank pictures with your wand and then place a drop of your blood on the indicated box. Once it is linked to you it will always show whatever face you have on, including any glamours, disguises, or polyjuice. The Americans are paranoid about privacy, so long as your passport is genuine, they don't need to see your true face. Yours is very genuine, Mr. Simon Andrew Black. I've emancipated Simon in the USA so that's one less boundary.
The goblins at Gringotts however are a lot more picky, but I have worked a way around it. My solicitor helped me set up a corporate entity in the muggle world called Simon Andrew Black and then had this entity open a Gringotts account to which you and I are the only ones able to open the vault. The goblins were less than amused to be creating a person who didn't exist, but were convinced with a bit of gold that it should happen anyways. In short, you are Simon Black now to the wizarding world if you wish to be. When I die, I will be leaving the majority of my estate to this fake name. You'll get some because it is expected, but no one will be able to contest my long lost son (especially if you have your documents ready) inheriting the rest. Dumbledore watches your vaults at Gringotts out of some perverse desire to make sure you are not spoiled. Yes I said vaults, your family had a vault for heirlooms and money in addition to your trust vault. That's why I made the phony name for you to have unfettered access to funds and the influence the Black family can swing.
So now you have a new name and some funding, it's time to begin plotting your escape. I've secured a few general purpose wands in the United States and included them in the box. They work for anyone but are not as good as a custom made wand or even an Olivander's wand that chose you. They are illegal and untraceable in Britain, but don't let that slow you down. Something you should know about the outside world, Britain may think they are the epitome of all things magical but that is far from the truth. Britain went stagnant centuries ago, all new innovations were either banned or dismissed as "muggle inspired filth." The rest of the world, especially the USA, Australia, Japan, and the "New World", are far more advanced than the older tradition bound countries of europe. The last man to call himself a Dark Lord in the USA lasted less than a month, because their aurors recognize threats and deal with them.
Another very useful set of things you'll find in the box is a variant of polyjuice potion. It was invented in Britain in the twelve hundreds, banned soon after, and never improved upon. A group of researchers in Mexico improved it to last a full day instead of an hour and made it simpler to brew. Sharon saved a lock of hair from when Simon was a child and it is included also. You can now pose as my son anytime you need, but be sparing with the hair once it is gone it is gone and the potion only requires the barest touch of material to work from. That potion and many more are in one of the books. There are many books on stealth, disguise, and escape included.
Languages are not as much of a barrier as one might think. There was an invention just fifty years ago by a Frenchman in the South Pacific who despaired at needing too many languages. He invented a device to implant memories and burn pathways in your brain to make languages easier to learn. One simply holds the charged crystal over your temple and speak the activation phrase to have it implant the new language and proper accents. It is very painful, I won't lie, but it does beat months of study and hard work. The crystals are single use. I've included American English, Spanish, New World Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French, Haitian Creole, Swahili, Afrikaans, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. Wherever you may end up, hopefully one of those will be sufficient. The crystals can be purchased at most travel hubs for a few hundred galleons.
Transportation is actually a lot simpler to arrange than you would imagine. Portkeys are useful but illegal to make without ministry approval (in Britain, most countries just want you to get a license), that spell is in the book on travel with the blue cover, chapter seven. Apparition, unlicensed in most countries, is in chapter five. For long distances, especially international there are really three options. One is official ministry to ministry portkey, these are difficult for a man on the run to arrange but very resonably priced. They take you to the government office of whichever country you want to go. Phoenix Airways is a really cool option if you can afford it and know the spell. By performing the correct wand movement and incantation (chapter twelve), you can summon a trained phoenix to transport you anywhere in the world. They will first take you an office where you must pay one hundred galleons (be sure to have correct change, the company is run by goblins), then to a magical customs station for whatever country, and finally to your destination. There is a similar service named Thunderbird Travels that use thunderbirds to travel. Their rates vary by distance travelled, but thunderbirds are easily offended and the ride is not always as smooth as phoenix travel. I've included a book listing all the major magical settlements and most of the minor hubs in the world. It also gives a basic guide to dress and national customs (most importantly major insults and how to avoid making them). Unless you plan to stay in Europe (bad idea, the dark idiot and Dumbledore both have spies all over), I would lose the robes. They are acceptable in the magical hubs but definitely mark you as someone from one of the less developed societies who focus on tradition and blood rather than ability and innovation.
Now you've got a way to perform magic, money, transportation, a disguise, a foreign passport, a lowered language barrier, and your wits... Let me give you a bit of advice to top it all off. If you plan an escape, never discuss it out loud even to yourself. Never write it down. Do not leave anything from this box lying around. Close the box and return it to letter form when you are done with it, even after just taking a book out. Most of this is illegal in Britain and you really don't want to answer questions about how you acquired it to anyone. If you are going to include anyone else in your plans, be absolutely positive that they are one hundred percent trustworthy. Personally I would take the time to assemble a similar care package and send it to them once I was gone rather than taking the time to make plans for two and risking exposure. I would begin collecting hairs and whatnot from anyone who looks non descript in whatever local you find yourself in. If you stumble across another "dead" wizard or muggle who died in the wrong world, consider trying to adopt their identity. It is easier to fake a muggle identity than a magical one but if you can get away with it, by all means take the chance. Escape plans and identities are immensely useful and you should always have another one.
Whatever you decide to do, and whenever you decide to do it, remember to live. Find a girl, heck find a couple girls, and just have some fun. Make some friends, never stop learning (the marauders learned more while inventing jokes than in any class), waste money on frivolous things, and live your life on your terms. I love you as if you were my own son and wish we had more time together.
The Infamous Padfoot
Harry set down the letter and cried for a few minutes. Clearly his Godfather was prepared and wanted to help him as much as he could. Once he had drained himself of some of his excess emotions he began to examine the contents of the box. He found the vials of improved polyjuice and hair in a clearly marked package. He found four dull looking black wands twelve inches long in another. He pick one out and gave it a swish. He got a sputtering of sparks but it didn't feel right. He pulled out the passport and activated it with a drop of his blood. There were instructions on the inside back leaf for how to switch between muggle and magical style. There were books on disguise, escape (or "emergency travel in tricky circumstances" as it was more politely known), stealth, travel, culture, wards, potions, and a few more lighthearted topics. He found nearly two thousand pounds in assorted muggle currency and five hundred galleons. He unwrapped one package that felt like a book only to find himself holding something that was invisible. After opening it and tapping the title page three times (the wrapping helped) he found himself holding "The Invisible Book of Invisibility." A multitude of plans began to present themselves to his mind and he would have to think on it for a while. He put everything back and even stashed his invisibility cloak, photo album, his firebolt, and the few irreplaceable trinkets he owned in the newfound hidey-hole.0000000000000000000000000000000000000
The goblins were gruff but polite when Harry arrived in the bank later in the week. Escape had been easy, he waited for Dung to be on duty (easy to tell with the stench of tobacco and whiskey in the air) and slipped out with his invisibility cloak. He took a bus to another part of town and summoned the Knight Bus to take him to Diagon Alley. There was a multitude of paperwork involved claiming his vaults. By virtue of Simon being emancipated and Harry being Simon, Harry was given access to the Potter Vaults as well. Most of the problems in the paper work involved Harry becoming the leader of the "company" that was Simon Andrew Black. He added the "actual" Simon Black as the new second in command. The two goblins helping him stopped and looked to each other grinning when he asked to do that. They promptly asked if he would need the assistance of Wills and Special Services while he was there. He declined but kept it in his mind just in case.
After a brief bit of shopping for new clothing, Harry applied a glamour of a much younger Sirius Black and caught the Knight bus. He kept his purchases shrunk in his pocket, but was showing off a bit by juggling four galleons in one hand while he walked down Privet Drive and up to number four. He made no efforts at all to hide his being a wizard, the gold coins were a bit of a tip off, and stopped by the door to grab the spare key hidden under a rock. Harry was certain that between the Knight Bus and his little nonchalant juggling act his watchers were going spare. He slipped into his room and removed the glamour before changing into his old clothes. Within minutes there was a knock at the door. Harry went back down stairs and opened the door to find Albus Dumbledore.
"Greetings Professor, is there something I could help you with?" Harry asked.
"We were wondering who your companion is. We've never seen him before and we worry for your safety."
"Am I not allowed friends Headmaster? Am I a prisoner to be denied visitation?"
"No but..." Dumbledore started.
"Exactly. Please do not concern yourself with Simon. We had some private matters to discuss and they are none of your concern."
"He may not be safe!"
"Headmaster you've always assured me of the impenetrable nature of these wards. You've told me time and again that the only place safer was Hogwarts. Are you meaning to say that you have been lying to me and putting me in an abusive situation just for laughs?" Harry raised an eyebrow while his face settled in a stoney expression.
"No Harry..." Dumbledore was quick to backpedal.
"Then mind your own business. I am not a prisoner. Now, on to other topics. Gringotts has informed me that Sirius' Will is to be read in a few days."
"I'm sorry Harry but it is much too dangerous."
"I thought you would say so. Would you please arrange papers for Remus to go as my proxy and ask him to come see me?"
"I will take care of that Harry..."
"No, I would much prefer that Remus represent me in this matter. In this we are practically family and family always comes first."
"I'll see what can be done." Dumbledore told him.